- Plenty of stores engage in product sampling, so what’s the big deal?
- Why is product sampling such a successful marketing technique?
- Is it even as successful as people make it out to be?
Product sampling is an example of experiential marketing. It engages the customer’s senses, lets them see, taste, smell, feel or hear your brand firsthand.
Getting Consumers on Board
The truth about product sampling is that it gives your customers an avenue to try products while eliminating the perceived risk involved in buying an unfamiliar product.
Product sampling gives your consumers a chance to engage with your product and your brand. For existing customers, sampling is a way to show them that you care.
If you have multiple product lines, sampling can remind existing customers of an old favorite or encourage them to try something new. For new customers, sampling is an introduction with direct, sensory engagement.
Whether you’re trying to convince new customers to buy your product or to introduce existing customers to new products, samples help you get consumers on board.
When you offer product samples, you’re offering a free experience to consumers. Not only is the effort effective, but it can also at times be necessary to get the word out there about your brand.
In-store Sampling and Demos
You have options with how you engage your customers through samples. In-store sampling and demos are more likely to reach existing customers.
They help you keep up customer retention numbers, and they are a great way to increase sales.
If you reach out to consumers who have already purchased and enjoyed something under your brand, they’re more likely to purchase again, especially when given a chance to test out a new product for free.
Then there are out-of-store demos, which can take place in some locations, and may help you reach other first-time customers.
You can capitalize on an event like a concert, to help host and distribute samples of your product that improve the overall consumer experience.
Meeting Your Goals
So you understand how product sampling increases sales and helps you connect with consumers. But will it meet your goals?
Product sampling on its own may not bring the drastic sales difference you’re searching for. But there are ways to set yourself apart from the crowd that will accomplish just that.
GoPro, for example, encouraged athletes and travel enthusiasts to use their product samples and send back the results: engaging videos that demonstrated the quality of GoPro cameras and the possibilities of their use.
GoPro then edited and added these videos to their website.
If you have a product whose quality you’re sure will surpass the competition, product sampling like GoPro’s is a great way to gain customer confidence.
Knowledgeable demonstrators who engage with the customers will also increase your chances of success.
Combine this with a sampling that ends with customer feedback for a fully dynamic experience.